Modern Painters | Jutta Koether & Gerard Byrne
Jutta Koether & Gerard Byrne PRAXES | August 31, 2013—December 14, 2013
Everyone who has ever visited an exhibition with an artist would probably agree that artists are the most selfish art consumers. They run through the museum and select a few pieces that inspire them; they then stop and look very carefully, pondering ‘What’s in it for me?’. You can see the end result in fairs and galleries. But how often do you see the deliberate choices the artist makes in the process of a new work?
That’s exactly what curators Rhea Dall and Kristine Siegel want to explore at PRAXES: they encourage slowing down, looking closer and carefully dismantling the mythical proportions of the artistic process. Six months ago they opened this unique nonprofit, presenting half-year cycles of exhibitions, papers, lectures and performances revolving around two unassociated artistic practices.
For PRAXES’ debut show, Irish artist Gerard Byrne and the German Jutta Koether explore the boundaries and possibilities of their practice by critically looking at their early, recent, failed, archived and new work. Although the two use very different media—Koether is a musician and painter, while Byrne focuses on the influence of photography and film on our visual culture—they both have developed a unique vocabulary examining expression.
In a reverse chronological journey, Byrne curates his work into five sections titled: Recent works, Older works, Early works, Around that time and Just before that, in which he reconfigures the notion of history. Notable is the restaging of a 1972 Playboy discussion on the future of sex in the film New Sexual Lifestyles (2003). In parallel Koether further investigates her own previously shown work The Double Session (2013), based on Derrida’s idea of ‘doubling’ in which there is no distinction between a copy and it’s original. The recast, The Double Session, Reloaded consisted of a triptych shown over the period of six months: Viktoria, Luise and Isabelle. They showed Koether’s unique approach to painting and the ability to reinvent not only the canvas, but a previously existing artwork. In a city with the dubious reputation as the ultimate hipster art destination, we can only hope that slowing down and watching closely is a viable alternative.
Published in Modern Painters #March 2014